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Written Statement - Intermediate Care Fund

Gwenda Thomas - Deputy Minister for Social Services and Lesley Griffiths - Minister for Local Government and Government Business 

The Intermediate Care Fund, which was a key part of the Welsh Government’s 2014-15 Budget agreement with Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Liberal Democrats, will invest in services which support older people, particularly the frail elderly, to maintain their independence and remain in their own home.

In December 2013, we announced the establishment of a £50 million Intermediate Care Fund to drive forward collaborative working between Social Services, health and housing and with Third and Independent Sector partners. The Fund will support people to maintain their independence and remain in their own home. It will be used to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions, inappropriate admissions to residential care, as well as preventing delayed discharges from hospital.

This Written Statement provides Members with an update on the approval of funding and information on some of the projects which will be taken forward across Wales to support older people.

Proposals were developed and submitted by each of the six regions - Cardiff and the Vale, Cwm Taf, Mid and West, North Wales, Western Bay and Gwent. Some of the projects which have been funded include:

  • In Cardiff and the Vale, a ‘Smart House’ will be created to raise awareness and provide an opportunity for older people and their family to see and trial what support can be provided in the home environment. Specialist accommodation teams will be established to work with Health and Social care practitioners to develop appropriate housing responses for older people at point of admission and discharge.
  • In Cwm Taf, an integrated @home service will focus on maintaining older people’s independence at home and avoiding hospital admission. The Butterfly project will also be extended to improve practice for older people with dementia, covering more residential and nursing homes, as well as extending to domiciliary care.
  • In North Wales, a 24/7 Health and Social care support service will be established to provide a overnight planned and crisis intervention support service, delivered by appropriately trained generic support workers, in order to avoid untimely admissions to hospital and residential care.
  • In Gwent, there will be an increased provision of services for older people at home and in care homes or sheltered housing. A new service to support people with dementia and those who have suffered a stroke in their own home will also be developed.
  • In the Western Bay area, there will be additional reablement services including occupational therapists, to support independence at home. They will also establish common access points to direct people to appropriate services or interventions according to need.
  • In Mid and West Wales, additional flexible intermediate care beds, intermediate care flats and dementia ‘move-on’ flats will be established. There will also be support by the Third Sector to develop twilight services for people when they return home from hospital.

The above are a small number of the projects which will be taken forward this year to improve the planning and provision of integrated services to better meet the needs of older people.

This Fund provides a real opportunity to drive a step change in the way services work collaboratively at both a strategic and operational level. With the significant funding provided, regions now have an opportunity to make a real difference to the services, care and support provided to older people across Wales.